TARLAC: The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Association of South East Asian Nations-Republic of Korea Forest Cooperation (AFoCo) are eyeing the establishment of a regional forest training center in Zambales.
The P700,000-worth center is expected to be built in Candelaria town, according to a statement from the Philippine Information Agency.
The center will enhance the knowledge and skills of forest managers and peoples’ organizations (POs) to better restore and protect the ASEAN region’s forests and help fight global warming and climate change.
Orlando Panganiban, DENR-Forest Management Bureau Forest Resources Management Division head, said, “The center will develop and promote a 30-hectare demonstration area of assisted natural regeneration (ANR) as a cost efficient way of regenerating the forest by enhancing the establishment of secondary forest from degraded grassland and shrub vegetation by protecting and nurturing the mother trees and their wildlings inherently present in the area.”
The ANR will accelerate, rather than replace, natural successional processes by removing or reducing barriers to natural forest regeneration such as soil degradation, competition with weedy species, and recurring disturbances such as grass fire and grazing, he added.
“In ANR, seedlings are protected from undergrowth and extremely flammable plants or grasses such as cogon and talahib. As a protection effort, new trees are planted when needed or wanted called enrichment planting,” Panganiban pointed out.
The organization of AFoCo was first proposed by the Republic of Korea in June 2009 to share its experiences with their neighboring countries. As a forest cooperation organization, it aims to promote forest restoration and rehabilitation and sustainable development in the region.
It was formally established in November 2011 after ratification by the 10-member Asean states.